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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVII, Number 4, October 2010

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy

This season, the nod goes to the mundane Aegiphila panamensis Moldenke (Lamiaceae; to be treated in Verbenaceae in the Manual).

Aegiphila panamensis Moldenke Aegiphila panamensis Moldenke

These pictures of a staminate inflorescence (note exserted stamens) are vouchered
by Hammel & Pérez 25709.

Although lacking particularly showy flowers, this sp. nevertheless has its story to tell. Like this one, all Aegiphila spp. from Costa Rica (except A. costaricensis Moldenke) are heterostylous: some plants, as in the photos above, have exserted stamens and included styles, while others have the styles long-exserted and the stamens hidden in the tube. After careful examination of herbarium material, we would go one step further: we believe the plants are dioecious. Flowers (specimens) as in the photos have pollen in the anthers, and are never associated with fruiting material, whereas long-styled flowers have only sterile anthers and can be found on material with young fruits. Additionally, at least in this sp., plants with staminate flowers seem to be more common (or more commonly collected) than those with pistillate flowers; of ca. 20 flowering specimens found at INB, only four had pistillate flowers, and the three plants examined in the area of the above photo (several hundred meters distant from one another) were all staminate. This is our lame excuse for not having photos of the pistillate morph!

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